When Christians Do Nothing (about Target)

I don’t believe the response to every social evil is a boycott.

But when a company publically and forcefully comes out on the wrong side of a moral issue, I don’t believe the correct response is to do nothing either. Especially in America, where we have freedom and our choices—whether they be at the voting polls or where we spend our money—make a difference.

By now, you’ve heard of Target’s decision to open their gender-specific restrooms and fitting rooms to the opposite gender. The stated reason for this is to be inclusive toward transgender individuals. But considering that the transgender population makes up 0.3 percent (0.003) of the American adult population, I would submit that their reasoning has more to do with “tolerance” being in vogue in America today.

Regardless of the reason, however, the result is that my granddaughter can be in the restroom at Target and have some guy walk in. And that’s not okay with me.

I know there are some people who say, “Fine, then use the single-stall family restroom.” But the point is there are men’s and women’s restrooms for a reason. The extra single-stall restroom (in stores that have it, and not all do) is supposed to be for people with an exceptional situation—not the norm. Yet, Target’s new policy is treating normalcy as abnormal. And it’s putting people, women and children in particular, in a place of compromised safety. Additionally, I’m not only concerned about the safety of those in my family, but I care about decency and protection for women and children in general—especially in public places where they should expect it.

I know that our culture is shifting as it willfully turns its back on God. And, as I wrote in a recent book, I know that the big-picture response of Christians is to lovingly hold to the truth while living a consistent testimony, praying for revival, and sharing the gospel.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also respond otherwise. That doesn’t mean we should roll over and do nothing when a company, in this case Target, makes a public statement of a policy that flies in the face of Christianity, not to mention common sense.

I don’t think we should lash out in anger. But we should be decisive. And we should be willing to do something.

One organization, the American Family Association, has already collected over a million signatures on their pledge to boycott Target. (On the same page, they also provide several news articles of how sexual predators exploit policies like Target’s.)

Personally, I’m not shopping at Target anymore, and I encourage others to make that decision as well.

I can’t say there will never be a day in my life when I go into a Target. There may be a time in the not-too-distant future when there is no corporate entity that honors the posted gender of restrooms and fitting rooms and protects those inside. But I believe that day will come sooner if no one pushes back right now. So, for the foreseeable future, I’m shopping other places than Target.

Additionally, I’m writing a letter to the managers of our nearby Target stores. (If you would like to write a letter as well, feel free to download and edit this one.)

Whatever you choose to do, could I encourage you? Don’t do nothing. Don’t assume you can’t make a difference. And don’t care more about convenience than speaking out.

As Edmond Burke famously observed, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So yes, be gracious, live a godly testimony, pray for revival…

But consider boycotting and writing letters too.

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